South Devon College

FdA Early Years, Care and Education

Everything at University Centre South Devon (UCSD) is designed to maximise your employability and future career opportunities. Courses are created with local employers to ensure you learn industry-relevant skills and are delivered in small classes with regular one-to-one support, covering a range of study skills – it’s no wonder we’re recognised as a leading institution in the National Student Survey.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Professional Practice (SOUD1443)

      This is a work based learning module where students will be encouraged to evaluate their own professional skills, abilities and competencies and compare these with those required for their occupation, profession or workplace.

    • Supporting Wellbeing (SOUD1444)

      This module focuses upon developing skills in facilitation and response to young children's needs holistically. Evaluation of the roles and responsibilities of all professionals and role of the parent will also be considered.

    • Investigation for Practice (SOUD1445)

      Investigation for Practice will use key theoretical underpinnings of early years research to bridge the gap between research and practice. It will aim to develop understanding and critical awareness of the benefits of childhood research, including observational methodology and ethical issues.

    • Policy and Society (SOUD1446)

      This module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of childhood as a social construct. Examination of the complexity and diversity of children's experiences of early childhood in contemporary British society will be considered. Students will examine key structural changes, important social institutions and services and how this has been influenced by long-term historical changes and legislation.

    • The Developing Child (SOUD1447)

      Students will explore a range of psychological theories that inform an understanding of how children learn, grow and develop relationships with others. From conception to 8 years old influential factors such as diet, stress, early education and secure relationships will be discussed and linked to practice. Students will develop their skills in observation and analysis to meet the individual needs of children.

    • Pedagogy of Play (SOUD1448)

      The aims of this module are to develop students' ability to evaluate the complex nature of children's play. To reflect upon practice and synthesise contemporary issues impacting on children's play, whilst examining and discussing the place of play in current early years practice, with reference to underlying principles and debates associated with a playful pedagogy for students to understand and recognise the role of observation as an early years practitioner.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Child Development (SOUD2409)

      Children have an extraordinary capacity for learning, even from before the moment of birth. This module will introduce some of the methods that have been used to explore the nature of infants' and young children's development and learning. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of relationships between theoretical models and research findings.

    • Self Concept and Identity (SOUD2410)

      This module emphasises the active sense making role of the growing child in building his/her identity and view of self-in-the-world. Whilst always giving weight to the contributions of heredity, temperament and potent features of the environment, the active interaction between child and significant others is seen as the major determinant of personhood, shaping emotional, social and moral development.

    • Comparative Education (SOUD2411)

      This module encourages students to look beyond UK borders by examining education systems around the world, utilising comparative frameworks and considering global conceptualisations of education. The module allows students to review and evaluate practice from different perspectives potentially influencing practice in the UK.

    • Safeguarding and Child Protection (SOUD2412)

      This module identifies the key concepts, definitions, legislative framework and policy that are key to safeguard children from harm. Safeguarding is examined from a historical and contemporary context, exploring the rights of a child and the implications for practitioners

    • Research Methods (SOUD2413)

      A research methodologies based module focusing on the research process. In this module students will identify an area of research, write a proposal which links to underpinning theoretical frameworks to form a solid research platform linking to SOUD2414 Professional Investigation.

    • Professional Investigation (SOUD2414)

      This module is designed to allow students to research an individual topic area linked to their area of practice through a negotiated and supervised individual work based project.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with South Devon College
The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with South Devon College

At the heart of the sunny English Riviera, we’re an award-winning Beacon status college. Add to that our ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted (in 2009), modern facilities and our larger-than-life Students’ Union, and you’re left with the perfect environment.
Plymouth students working on a group project